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Gun Control Fact-Sheet 2004Fact-Sheet /

http://gunowners.org/fs0404.htm
by Gun Owners Foundation
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102 Springfield, VA 22151

From Gun Owners of America http://gunowners.org/

1. Highlights

* Guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense. Law-abiding citizens use guns
to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year—or
about 6,850 times a day.1 This means that each year, firearms are used more than 80
times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.2

* Even anti-gun Clinton researchers concede that guns are used 1.5 million times
annually for self-defense. According to the Clinton Justice Department, there are as
many as 1.5 million cases of self-defense with a firearm every year. The National
Institute of Justice published this figure in 1997 as part of "Guns in America"—a study
which was authored by noted anti-gun criminologists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig.3

* Concealed carry laws have reduced murder and crime rates in the states that have
enacted them. According to a comprehensive study which reviewed crime statistics in
every county in the United States from 1977 to 1992, states which passed concealed
carry laws reduced their rate of murder by 8.5%, rape by 5%, aggravated assault by
7% and robbery by 3%.4

* Anti-gun journal pronounces the failure of the Brady law. One of the nation’s leading
anti-gun medical publications, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found
that the Brady registration law has failed to reduce murder rates. In August 2000, JAMA
reported that states implementing waiting periods and background checks did "not
[experience] reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates."5

* Twice as many children are killed playing football in school than are murdered by
guns. That’s right. Despite what media coverage might seem to indicate, there are
more deaths related to high school football than guns. In a recent three year period,
twice as many football players died from hits to the head, heat stroke, etc. (45), as
compared with students who were murdered by firearms (22) during that same time
period.6

* More guns, less crime. In the decade of the 1990s, the number of guns in this
country increased by roughly 40 million—even while the murder rate decreased by
almost 40% percent.7 Accidental gun deaths in the home decreased by almost 40
percent as well.8

* CDC admits there is no evidence that gun control reduces crime. The Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) has long been criticized for propagating questionable studies
which gun control organizations have used in defense of their cause. But after analyzing
51 studies in 2003, the CDC concluded that the "evidence was insufficient to determine
the effectiveness of any of these [firearms] laws."9

* Gun shows are NOT a primary source of illegal guns for criminals. According to two
government studies, the National Institute of Justice reported in 1997 that "less than
two percent [of criminals] reported obtaining [firearms] from a gun show."10 And the
Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed in 2001 that less than one percent of firearm
offenders acquired their weapons at gun shows.11

* Several polls show that Americans are very pro-gun. Several scientific polls indicate
that the right to keep and bear arms is still revered—and gun control disdained—by a
majority of Americans today. To mention just a few recent polls:

* In 2002, an ABC News poll found that almost three-fourths of the American public
believe that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of
"individuals" to own guns.12

* Zogby pollsters found that by a more than 3 to 1 margin, Americans support


punishing "criminals who use a gun in the commission of a crime" over legislation to
"ban handguns."13

* A Research 2000 poll found that 85% of Americans would find it appropriate for a
principal or teacher to use "a gun at school to defend the lives of students" to stop a
school massacre.14

* A study claiming "guns are three times more likely to kill you than help you" is a total
fraud. Even using the low figures from the Clinton Justice Department, firearms are
used almost 50 times more often to save life than to take life.15 More importantly,
however, the figure claiming one is three times more likely to be killed by one’s own
gun is a total lie:

* Researcher Don Kates reveals that all available data now indicates that the "home
gun homicide victims [in the flawed study] were killed using guns not kept in the
victim's home."16

* In other words, the victims were NOT murdered with their own guns! They were
killed "by intruders who brought their own guns to the victim's household."17

* Gun-free England not such a utopia after all. According to the BBC News, handgun
crime in the United Kingdom rose by 40% in the two years after it passed its draconian
gun ban in 1997.18 And according to a United Nations study, British citizens are more
likely to become a victim of crime than are people in the United States. The 2000 report
shows that the crime rate in England is higher than the crime rates of 16 other
industrialized nations, including the United States.19
2. Self-defense

A. Guns save more lives than they take; prevent more injuries than
they inflict

* Guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense. Law-abiding citizens use guns
to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year—or
about 6,850 times a day20. This means that each year, firearms are used more than 80
times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.21

* Of the 2.5 million times citizens use their guns to defend themselves every year, the
overwhelming majority merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off
their attackers. Less than 8% of the time, a citizen will kill or wound his/her attacker.22

* As many as 200,000 women use a gun every year to defend themselves against
sexual abuse.23

* Even anti-gun Clinton researchers concede that guns are used 1.5 million times
annually for self-defense. According to the Clinton Justice Department, there are as
many as 1.5 million cases of self-defense with a firearm every year. The National
Institute of Justice published this figure in 1997 as part of "Guns in America"—a study
which was authored by noted anti-gun criminologists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig.24

* Armed citizens kill more crooks than do the police. Citizens shoot and kill at least
twice as many criminals as police do every year (1,527 to 606)25. And readers of
Newsweek learned that "only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent
person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The ‘error rate’ for the police, however, was
11 percent, more than five times as high."26

* Handguns are the weapon of choice for self-defense. Citizens use handguns to
protect themselves over 1.9 million times a year.27 Many of these self-defense
handguns could be labeled as "Saturday Night Specials."

B. Concealed carry laws help reduce crime

* Nationwide: one-half million self-defense uses. Every year, as many as one-half


million citizens defend themselves with a firearm away from home.28

* Concealed carry laws are dropping crime rates across the country. A comprehensive
national study determined in 1996 that violent crime fell after states made it legal to
carry concealed firearms. The results of the study showed:

* States which passed concealed carry laws reduced their rate of murder by 8.5%, rape
by 5%, aggravated assault by 7% and robbery by 3%;29 and
* If those states not having concealed carry laws had adopted such laws in 1992, then
approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and over
11,000 robberies would have been avoided yearly.30

* Vermont: one of the safest five states in the country. In Vermont, citizens can carry a
firearm without getting permission . . . without paying a fee . . . or without going
through any kind of government-imposed waiting period. And yet for ten years in a
row, Vermont has remained one of the top-five, safest states in the union—having three
times received the "Safest State Award."31

* Florida: concealed carry helps slash the murder rate in the state. In the fifteen years
following the passage of Florida's concealed carry law in 1987, over 800,000 permits to
carry firearms were issued to people in the state.32 FBI reports show that the homicide
rate in Florida, which in 1987 was much higher than the national average, fell 52%
during that 15-year period—thus putting the Florida rate below the national average.33

* Do firearms carry laws result in chaos? No. Consider the case of Florida. A citizen in
the Sunshine State is far more likely to be attacked by an alligator than to be assaulted
by a concealed carry holder.

* During the first fifteen years that the Florida law was in effect, alligator attacks
outpaced the number of crimes committed by carry holders by a 229 to 155 margin.34

* And even the 155 "crimes" committed by concealed carry permit holders are
somewhat misleading as most of these infractions resulted from Floridians who
accidentally carried their firearms into restricted areas, such as an airport.35

* Concealed Carry v. Waiting Period Laws. In 1976, both Georgia and Wisconsin tried
two different approaches to fighting crime. Georgia enacted legislation making it easier
for citizens to carry guns for self-defense, while Wisconsin passed a law requiring a 48
hour waiting period before the purchase of a handgun. What resulted during the
ensuing years? Georgia's law served as a deterrent to criminals and helped drop its
homicide rate by 21 percent. Wisconsin's murder rate, however, rose 33 percent during
the same period.36

C. Criminals avoid armed citizens

* Kennesaw, GA. In 1982, this suburb of Atlanta passed a law requiring heads of
households to keep at least one firearm in the house. The residential burglary rate
subsequently dropped 89% in Kennesaw, compared to the modest 10.4% drop in
Georgia as a whole.37

* Ten years later (1991), the residential burglary rate in Kennesaw was still 72% lower
than it had been in 1981, before the law was passed.38

* Nationwide. Statistical comparisons with other countries show that burglars in the
United States are far less apt to enter an occupied home than their foreign counterparts
who live in countries where fewer civilians own firearms. Consider the following rates
showing how often a homeowner is present when a burglar strikes:

* Homeowner occupancy rate in the gun control countries of Great Britain, Canada and
Netherlands: 45% (average of the three countries); and,

* Homeowner occupancy rate in the United States: 12.7%.39


Rapes averted when women carry or use firearms for protection

* Orlando, FL. In 1966-67, the media highly publicized a safety course which taught
Orlando women how to use guns. The result: Orlando’s rape rate dropped 88% in
1967, whereas the rape rate remained constant in the rest of Florida and the nation.40

* Nationwide. In 1979, the Carter Justice Department found that of more than 32,000
attempted rapes, 32% were actually committed. But when a woman was armed with a
gun or knife, only 3% of the attempted rapes were actually successful.41
Justice Department study:

* 3/5 of felons polled agreed that "a criminal is not going to mess around with a victim
he knows is armed with a gun."42

* 74% of felons polled agreed that "one reason burglars avoid houses when people are
at home is that they fear being shot during the crime."43

* 57% of felons polled agreed that "criminals are more worried about meeting an
armed victim than they are about running into the police."44

D. Police cannot protect—and are not required to protect—every


individual

* The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect
individuals, only the public in general. For example, in Warren v. D.C. the court stated
"courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other
governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the
public at large and not to individual members of the community."45

* Former Florida Attorney General Jim Smith told Florida legislators that police
responded to only about 200,000 of 700,000 calls for help to Dade County authorities.
Smith was asked why so many citizens in Dade County were buying guns and he said,
"They damn well better, they've got to protect themselves."46

* The Department of Justice found that in 1989, there were 168,881 crimes of violence
which were not responded to by police within 1 hour.47

* The numbers clearly show that the police cannot protect every individual. In 1996,
there were about 150,000 police officers on duty at any one time to protect a
population of more than 260 million Americans—or more than 1,700 citizens per
officer.48
3. Failure of Gun Control

A. Poor track record

* Washington, D.C. has, perhaps, the most restrictive gun control laws in the country,
and yet it is frequently the Murder Capital of the nation. In the 25 years following the
DC gun ban, its murder rate INCREASED 51 percent, even while the national rate
DECREASED 36 percent.49

* Objection: Critics claim criminals merely get their guns in Virginia where the laws are
more relaxed. This, they argue, is why the D.C. gun ban is not working.

* Answer: Perhaps criminals do get their guns in Virginia, but this overlooks one point:
If the availability of guns in Virginia is the root of D.C.’s problems, why does Virginia not
have the same murder and crime rate as the District? Virginia is awash in guns and yet
the murder rate is much, much lower.

This holds true even for Virginia’s urban areas, as seen by the following comparison on
the 25-year anniversary of the DC gun ban (in 2001):
Murder rates: 25 years after DC's ban
City
Washington, DC 46.4 per 100,00050
Arlington, VA 2.1 per 100,00051
(Arlington is just across the river from D.C.)
Total VA metropolitan area 6.1 per 100,00052

* Guns are not the problem. On the contrary, lax criminal penalties and laws that
disarm the law-abiding are responsible for giving criminals a safer working environment.

B. Criminologists turning from anti-gun position

* Dr. Gary Kleck. A criminologist at Florida State University, Kleck began his research as
a firm believer in gun control. But in a speech delivered to the National Research
Council, he said while he was once "a believer in the ‘anti-gun’ thesis," he has now
moved "beyond even the skeptic position." Dr. Kleck now says the evidence "indicates
that general gun availability does not measurably increase rates of homicide, suicide,
robbery, assault, rape, or burglary in the U.S."53

* James Wright. Formerly a gun control advocate, Wright received a grant from
President Carter's Justice Department to study the effectiveness of gun control laws. To
his surprise, he found that waiting periods, background checks, and all other gun
control laws were not effective in reducing violent crime.54

* Wright says that at one time, "It seemed evident to me, we needed to mount a
campaign to resolve the crisis of handgun proliferation." But he says, "I am now of the
opinion that a compelling case for ‘stricter gun control’ cannot be made."55
* Every scholar who has "switched" has moved away from the anti-gun position. Dave
Kopel, an expert in constitutional issues and firearms research, categorically states that,
"Every scholar who has ‘switched’ has ‘switched’ to the side that is skeptical of controls.
Indeed, most of the prominent academic voices who are gun control skeptics—including
law professor Sanford Levinson and criminologists Gary Kleck and James Wright—are
people who, when they began studying guns, were supporters of the gun control
agenda."56

* Kopel continues: "I do not know of a single scholar who has published a pro-control
article who started out as a skeptic of gun control. This suggests how heavily the
weight of the evidence is distributed, once people begin studying the evidence."57

4. Problems with waiting periods and background checks

A. Waiting periods threaten the safety of people in imminent danger

* Bonnie Elmasri—She inquired about getting a gun to protect herself from a husband
who had repeatedly threatened to kill her. She was told there was a 48 hour waiting
period to buy a handgun. But unfortunately, Bonnie was never able to pick up a gun.
She and her two sons were killed the next day by an abusive husband of whom the
police were well aware.58

* Marine Cpl. Rayna Ross—She bought a gun (in a non-waiting period state) and used it
to kill an attacker in self-defense two days later.59 Had a 5-day waiting period been in
effect, Ms. Ross would have been defenseless against the man who was stalking her.

* Los Angeles riots—USA Today reported that many of the people rushing to gun stores
during the 1992 riots were "lifelong gun-control advocates, running to buy an item they
thought they'd never need." Ironically, they were outraged to discover they had to wait
15 days to buy a gun for self-defense.60

B. Prior restraints on rights are unconstitutional

1. Second Amendment protects an individual right

Report by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution (1982)—"The conclusion is


thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to
the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major
commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what
is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a
peaceful manner."61

Supreme Court admits "the people" in the Second Amendment are the same "people"
as in the rest of the Bill of Rights—In U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez the Court stated that
"‘the people’ seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the
Constitution. . . . [and] it suggests that ‘the people’ protected by the Fourth
Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and
powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons
who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient
connection with this country to be considered part of that community."62

2. Courts agree that rights should be free from prior restraints

Near v. Minnesota—In this case, the Supreme Court stated that government officials
should punish the abuse of a right and not place prior restraints on the exercise of the
right.63

What about yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater?—The courts have stated that one
cannot use his "freedom of speech" to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater. And yet, no one
argues that officials should gag everyone who goes into the theater, thus placing a prior
restraint on movie-goers. The proper response is to punish the person who does yell
"Fire." Likewise, citizens should not be "gagged" before exercising their Second
Amendment rights, rather they should be punished if they abuse that right.

C. Background checks invite official abuse

* A review of FBI computer records reveals that the firearms industry was shut down
for more than eight full business days during the first six months that the National
Instant Background Check (NICS) was online. Many of these shutdowns have resulted
in the virtual blackout of gun sales at gun shows across the country.

* According to gun laws expert Alan Korwin, "With the NICS computer out of
commission, the only place you could legally buy a firearm—in the whole country—was
from a private individual, since all dealers were locked out of business by the FBI’s
computer problem."64

D. Background checks can (and do) lead to gun registration

* Justice Department report (1989). "Any system that requires a criminal history record
check prior to purchase of a firearm creates the potential for the automated tracking of
individuals who seek to purchase firearms."65

* Justice Department initiates registration (1994). The Justice Department gave a grant
to the city of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University to create a sophisticated
national gun registry using data compiled from states’ background check programs. This
attempt at registration was subsequently defeated in the courts.66

* More gun owner registration (1996). Computer software distributed by the Justice
Department allowed police officials to easily (and unlawfully) register the names and
addresses of gun buyers. This software -- known as FIST -- also kept information such
as the type of gun purchased, the make, model and caliber, the date of purchase,
etc.67 This demonstrates how easily background checks can be used to register gun
owners' information.68

* Federal Bureau of Investigation registers gun owners (1998). Despite prohibitions in


federal law, the FBI announced that it would begin keeping gun buyer’s names for six
months. FBI had originally wanted to keep the names for 18 months, but reduced the
time period after groups like Gun Owners of America strongly challenged the legality of
their actions. GOA submitted a formal protest to the FBI, calling their attempt at
registration both "unlawful" and "unconstitutional."69

* California. State officials have used the state background check—required during the
waiting period—to compile an illegal registry of handgun owners. These lists have been
compiled without any statutory authority to do so.70

* Nationwide. Highly acclaimed civil rights attorney, researcher and author, David
Kopel, has noted several states where either registration lists have been illegally
compiled from background checks or where such registration lists have been abused by
officials.71

E. Myth: The Brady registration law is dropping crime rates

* Fact: Anti-gun journal pronounces the failure of the Brady law. One of the nation’s
leading anti-gun medical publications, the Journal of the American Medical Association,
found that the Brady registration law has failed to reduce murder rates. In August
2000, JAMA reported that states implementing waiting periods and background checks
did "not [experience] reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates."72

* Fact: Brady checks are not taking criminals off the streets. Not every person who is
denied a firearm is truly a criminal, as many persons have been denied erroneously. But
even assuming each denial was legitimate, the Brady law is still not taking criminals off
the streets (and thus keeping them from getting firearms). The Washington Times
reported in 1999 that, "Although federal officials say about 400,000 persons have been
prevented from buying guns by the instant check system, only one has been prosecuted
by the Department of Justice in the last three years."73

* Fact: The Brady law has NOT stopped thugs like Benjamin Smith from going on
killing sprees. In 1999, Benjamin Smith was rejected by a background check when he
tried to buy a firearm from an Illinois gun dealer. But after this initial rejection, "he hit
the streets and in just three days had two handguns" from an illegal source, reported
the Associated Press. Three days after getting the guns, Smith went on a rampage that
killed two people and wounded nine others.

* Fact: The Brady Law is not physically keeping criminals from getting firearms. The
simple truth is that any person who’s denied a firearm can simply walk out the door and
buy a gun down the street. Ohio's Attorney General, Betty Montgomery, testified to this
very irony in the law in 1997:
"In 1996, 60,037 people went to licensed gun dealers to purchase handguns. Of that
figure, 327—less than one half of one percent—were denied because of a disqualifying
factor. . . . [W]hile we were able to keep 327 people from getting a handgun at point
A—each of them was able to purchase a rifle or handgun the very same day at point B.
To our knowledge, under the Brady Act, not a single one of the 327 people . . . have
been prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department."74

* Criminals bypass gun controls. A Justice Department survey of felons showed that
93% of handgun predators had obtained their most recent guns "off-the-record."75 And
press reports show that the few criminals who get their guns from retail outlets can
easily get fake IDs or use surrogate buyers, known as "straw purchasers," to buy their
guns.76

* Legal gun shows are not a problem. Some have demonized gun shows and claimed
that these are the outlets where criminals supposedly get their weapons. But the
Clinton Justice Department found that less than two percent of the people arrested for
using firearms in homicide got their weapons from gun shows.77

* Fact: The Department of Justice has grossly overstated the number of people who
were denied firearms. The Indianapolis Star and News reported in 1998 that the U.S.
Department of Justice had overstated the number of people who were denied firearms
in Indiana alone by more than 1,300%. Indiana was not an aberration, as the
newspaper found that "paperwork errors and duplications inflated the [DOJ’s] numbers"
in many states.78

F. General Accounting Office questions the Brady law’s supposed


effectiveness

* The Brady Law has failed to result in the incarceration of dangerous criminals. After
the first year and a half, there were only seven successful prosecutions for making false
statements on Brady handgun purchase forms—and only three of them were actually
incarcerated.79 Because the situation hardly improved in subsequent years, one cannot
argue that the law is working to keep violent criminals from getting handguns on the
street.80

* The Brady Law has ERRONEOUSLY denied firearms to thousands of applicants. Over
fifty percent of denials under the Brady Law are for administrative snafus, traffic
violations, or reasons other than felony convictions.81

* Gun control advocates admit the Brady Law is not a panacea. According to a January,
1996 report by the General Accounting Office, "Proponents [of gun control]
acknowledge that criminal records checks alone will not prevent felons from obtaining
firearms."82

* Criminals can easily evade the background checks by using straw purchasers:
"Opponents of gun control note that criminals can easily circumvent the law by
purchasing handguns on the secondary market or by having friends or spouses without
a criminal record make the purchases from dealers."83
5. Problems with gun registration and licensing

A. Licensing or registration can lead to confiscation of firearms


1. New York City

* Registration. In the mid-1960's officials in New York City began registering long guns.
They promised they would never use such lists to take away firearms from honest
citizens. But in 1991, the city banned (and soon began confiscating) many of those very
guns.84

* Confiscation. In 1992, a New York City paper reported that, "Police raided the home
of a Staten Island man who refused to comply with the city's tough ban on assault
weapons, and seized an arsenal of firearms. . . . Spot checks are planned [for other
homes]."85

2. California

Part 1. The Golden State passed a ban on certain semi-automatic firearms in 1989.
Banned guns could be legally possessed if they were registered prior to the ban. In the
Spring of 1995, one man who wished to move to California asked the Attorney General
whether his SKS Sporter rifle would be legal in the state. The citizen was assured the
rifle was legal, and based on that information, he subsequently moved into the state.
But in 1998, the state’s Attorney General reversed course and officials confiscated the
firearm.86 In a legal brief before the state supreme court, Attorney General Daniel
Lungren said that "tens of thousands of California citizens" would have to either
surrender their firearms or become felons.87

Part 2. Having registered the firearms, the California Department of Justice issued a
notice in 1999 to explain how more than 1,500 individuals in the state were in
possession of illegal firearms—all of which were subject to forfeiture without
compensation.88

Part 3. Plans to confiscate firearms in California were leaked to the public in 1999,
sending shock waves through the gun rights community. The document entitled
"Relinquishment of Assault Weapons" stated: "Once the 90-day window of opportunity
for turning in such assault weapons concludes, we will send each sheriff and police
chief a listing of the affected individuals [who own banned firearms]."89

3. Foreign Countries

* Gun registration has led to confiscation in several countries, including Greece, Ireland,
Jamaica and Bermuda.90

* And in an exhaustive study on this subject, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms
Ownership has researched and translated several gun control laws from foreign
countries. Their publication, Lethal Laws: "Gun Control" is the Key to Genocide
documents how gun control (and confiscation) has preceded the slaughter and
genocide of millions of people in Turkey, the Soviet Union, Germany, China, Cambodia
and others.91

B. People in imminent danger can die waiting for a firearms license

* Igor Hutorsky was murdered by two burglars who broke into his Brooklyn furniture
store. The tragedy is that some time before the murder his business partner had
applied for permission to keep a handgun at the store. Even four months after the
murder, the former partner had still not heard from the police about the status of his
gun permit.92

C. The power to license a right is the power to destroy a right

* Arbitrary Delays—While New Jersey law requires applications to be responded to


within thirty days, delays of ninety days are routine; sometimes, applications are
delayed for several years for no readily apparent reason.93

* Arbitrary Denials—Officials in New York City routinely deny gun permits for ordinary
citizens and store owners because, as the courts have ruled, they have no greater need
for protection than anyone else in the city. In fact, the authorities have even refused to
issue permits when the courts have ordered them to do so.94

* Arbitrary Fee Increases—In 1994, the Clinton administration pushed for a license fee
increase of almost 1,000 percent on gun dealers. According to U.S. News & World
Report, the administration was seeking the license fee increase "in hopes of driving
many of America's 258,000 licensed gun dealers out of business."95

D. Officials cannot license or register a constitutional right

* The Supreme Court held in Lamont v. Postmaster General (1965) that the First
Amendment prevents the government from registering purchasers of magazines and
newspapers—even if such material is "communist political propaganda."96

6. Assault weapons: fact or fiction?

A. Definition of real "assault weapons"

* According to one of the preeminent experts in the field of firearms, Dr. Edward
Ezell,97 a key characteristic of a true assault weapon is that it must have the capability
of "full automatic fire."98 Similarly, the U.S. Defense Department defines real assault
weapons as "selective-fire weapons"—meaning that these guns can fire either
automatically or semi-automatically.99

* Anti-gun pundits in recent years have managed to define "assault weapons" as semi-
automatic firearms which only externally resemble a military firearm.100 Dr. Edward
Ezell notes that true assault weapons "were designed to produce roughly aimed bursts
of full automatic fire"101—something which a semi-automatic firearm does not do.

B. Semi-automatic "assault rifles" are no different than many hunting


rifles

* Officer William McGrath: "These [semi-automatic assault rifles] are little different than
the semi-automatic hunting rifles that have been on the market since before World War
II. The main difference between an assault rifle and a semi-automatic hunting rifle is
that the assault rifle looks more ‘military.’"102

* "The term ‘assault’ rifle is really a misnomer as a true assault rifle is a selective fire
weapon capable of switching from fully automatic to semi automatic and back with the
flip of a lever."103

* "The charge that the assault rifle holds more rounds than a ‘legitimate’ hunting rifle
shows either a lack of knowledge or a deliberate twisting of the facts, as 10, 20 and 30
round magazines for ‘legitimate’ hunting rifles have been on the market for decades
without the world coming to an end."104

C. So-called assault weapons have never been the "weapon of choice"


for criminals

(All of the following figures pre-date the "assault weapons" ban passed by Congress in
1994)

* Police View: Over 100,000 police officers delivered a message to Congress in 1990
stating that only 2% to 3% of crimes are committed using a so-called "assault
weapon."105

* New Jersey: The New York Times reported that, "Although New Jersey's pioneering
ban on military-style assault rifles was sold to the state as a crime-fighting measure, its
impact on violence in the state . . . has been negligible, both sides agree."106
Moreover, New Jersey police statistics show that only .026 of 1 percent of all crimes
involve "assault rifles."107

* Nationwide: The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in 1993 that violent criminals
only carry or use a "military-type gun" in about one percent of the crimes
nationwide.108

* Knives more deadly: According to the FBI, people have a much greater chance of
being killed by a knife or a blunt object than by any kind of rifle, including an "assault
rifle."109 In Chicago, the chance is 67 times greater. That is, a person is 67 times more
likely to be stabbed or beaten to death in Chicago than to be murdered by an "assault
rifle."110

* Cops’ own guns more deadly: So-called assault weapons are not menacing police
officers nationwide. The FBI reports show that before the 1994 ban on semi-automatic
"assault weapons," no more than three officers were killed in any one year by such
guns.111 Contrastly, police officers were more than three times as likely to be killed by
their own guns than by "assault weapons."112

* It would seem one can't have it both ways. If Congress wants to ban weapons that
are dangerous to police, then it should begin by pushing for a ban on police officers’
own weapons, since these guns kill far more often than "assault weapons." The same is
true with knives and blunt objects. These instruments kill policemen more often than
semi-automatic "assault weapons."113

* Sarah Brady’s own figures show that so-called assault weapons are not the criminal’s
"weapon of choice." A study published by Handgun Control, Inc. in November of 1995
shows that the overwhelming majority of guns used to murder police officers are not
"assault weapons."114 The irony is that HCI used a very inflated definition of "assault
weapon" and still could not demonstrate that they are used in over 50% of the
crimes.115

* Does tracing of crime guns show that "assault weapons" are the weapons of choice
for criminals? No. Gun control advocates will often make the claim that so-called assault
weapons are frequently used in crime. To justify this claim, such advocates will cite as
"evidence" the fact that law-enforcement run a high percentage of traces on these
types of firearms. But this is a classic example of circular reasoning: law enforcement
arbitrarily run a high percentage of trace requests on "assault weapons," and then this
figure is used to justify the "fact" that these guns are frequently used in crime. Consider
the following:

* Tracing requests are not representative of all guns used in crime. The Congressional
Research Service states that, "Firearms selected for tracing do not constitute a random
sample and cannot be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms
used by criminals."116 (Emphasis added.) Moreover, BATF agents themselves have
stated that, "ATF does not always know if a firearm being traced has been used in a
crime."117

* Tracing requests are not random samples. CRS notes that "ATF tracing data could be
potentially biased because of screening conducted by local ATF agents prior to the
submission of the tracing from."118 This means that police could, if they wanted, only
trace so-called assault weapons. Would this mean that they are the only guns used in
crime? No, it would just mean that law enforcement have a particular interest in tracing
"assault weapons" over other guns.

* Tracing in L.A. That tracing is an unreliable measure of a gun’s use in crime is clear.
For example, in 1989 in Los Angeles, "assault rifles" represented approximately only 3%
of guns seized, but 19% of gun traces.119
D. Semi-automatic "assault weapons" are excellent for self-defense

* Police Capt. Massad Ayoob: "The likelihood of multiple opponents who move fast,
often wear body armor, know how to take cover, and tend to ingest chemicals that
make them resistant to pain and shock, are all good reasons for carrying guns that
throw a whole lot more bullets than six-shooters do."120 (Emphasis added.)

* "All four of these factors make it likely that more of the Good Guys’ bullets will be
expended before the Bad Guys are neutralized. All of these factors, therefore, militate
for a higher capacity handgun in the hands of the lawful defenders."121

1. Drugs and alcohol can make criminals resistant to pain

Arkansas: A drunk opened fire on an officer, who responded by firing 29 shots—15 of


them striking the criminal. It was only the last bullet which finally killed the drunk and
effectively stopped him from shooting.122

Illinois: Police shot a drug-induced criminal 33 times before the junkie finally dropped
and was unable to shoot any longer.123

2. Hi-capacity semi-autos can help decent people to defend


themselves

Los Angeles riots: Many of the guns targeted by so-called assault weapons bans are the
very guns with which the Korean merchants used to defend themselves during the 1992
Los Angeles riots.124 Those firearms proved to be extremely useful to the Koreans.
Their stores were left standing while other stores around them were burned to the
ground.

The Korean merchants would probably agree with Capt. Massad Ayoob. When one is
facing mob violence and the police are nowhere to be found, one needs a gun that
shoots more than just six bullets. A ban on large capacity semi-automatic firearms will
only harm one's ability to defend himself and his family.

E. The Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own


military rifles and handguns

* Report by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution (1982)—"In the Militia
Act of 1792, the second Congress defined 'militia of the United States’ to include almost
every free adult male in the United States. These persons were obligated by law to
possess a [military-style] firearm and a minimum supply of ammunition and military
equipment. . . . There can be little doubt from this that when the Congress and the
people spoke of the a ‘militia,’ they had reference to the traditional concept of the
entire populace capable of bearing arms, and not to any formal group such as what is
today called the National Guard."125
* The Supreme Court—In U.S. v. Miller, the Court stated that, "The Militia comprised all
males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense . . . [and that]
when called for service, these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by
themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."126

7. Firearms statistics

A. General Death Rates


Cause Number

Heart disease 710,760


Cancer 553,091
Stroke (cerebrovascular disease) 167,661
Chronic lower respiratory diseases 122,009
Doctor's negligence 98,329
Influenza and pneumonia 65,313
Motor-vehicle 43,354
Suicides (all kinds, including firearms) 29,350
Firearms (Total)* 28,163

Suicides 16,586
Homicides 10,801
Accidents 776

Accidents (six causes)

Falls 13,322
Poison (solid, liquid) 12,757
Choking on food or other object 4,313
Drowning 3,402
Fires, flames 3,377
Firearms 776

Homicides (all instruments) 16,765


Source: Except for the figure on doctor's negligence, the above information
is for 2000 and is taken from National Safety Council, Injury Facts: 2003
Edition, at 10, 19-20, 129. The number of yearly deaths attributed to
doctor's negligence is based on the Harvard Medical Practice Study (1990)
which is cited in Kleck, Point Blank, at 43.127
*The total firearms death figure above is a summary of the "Suicides,"
"Homicides" and "Accidents" subcategories. The Total excludes two
categories: Legal Intervention and Undetermined.

B. Children Accidental Death Rates (Ages 0-14)

Cause Number (Ages 0-14) Number (Ages 0-4)


Motor-vehicle 2,591 819
Drowning 943 568
Fires and flames 593 327
Mechanical suffocation 601 508
Ingestion of food, object* 169 169
Firearms 86 19
Source: Figures are for 2000. National Safety Council, Injury Facts: 2003
Edition, at 10-11, 129.

* The "Ingestion of food, object" category is underreported in the first


column since the NSC did not include death rates for "5 to 14 Years."

C. Children and Guns

*Fact: Accidental gun deaths among children have declined by over 50 % in 25 years,
even though the population (and the gun stock) has continued to increase.128

* Fact: Despite the low number of gun accidents among children (see above), most of
these fatalities are not truly "accidents." According to Dr. Gary Kleck, many such
accidents are misnamed—those "accidents" actually resulting from either suicides or
extreme cases of child abuse.129

* Dr. Kleck also notes that, "Accidental shooters were significantly more likely to have
been arrested, arrested for a violent act, arrested in connection with alcohol, involved in
highway crashes, given traffic citations, and to have had their driver's license
suspended or revoked."130

* Myth: One child is accidentally killed by a gun every day. Dr. Gary Kleck notes that to
reach this figure, anti-gun authors must include "children" aged 18-24.131 As noted
above, there were only 142 fatal gun accidents for children in 1997.

* Myth: 135,000 children take guns to school every day. This factoid was based on a
survey that did not even ask children if they carried a weapon to school. The "take guns
to school" statement is completely imputed into the survey results. With regard to the
135,000 figure, Dr. Gary Kleck has shown that this number is wildly inflated.132

* Myth: Children gun deaths are at epidemic proportions.


Fact: Twice as many children are killed playing football in school than are murdered by
guns. That’s right. Despite what media coverage might seem to indicate, there are
more deaths related to high school football than guns. In the last three years, twice as
many football players died from hits to the head, heat stroke, etc. (45), as compared
with students who were murdered by firearms (22) during that same time period.133

*Fact: More children will die in a car, drown in a pool, or choke on food than they will
by firearms. As seen by the chart above, children are at a 2,000 percent greater risk
from the car in their driveway, than they are by the gun in their parents’ closet.
Children are almost 7 times more likely to drown than to be shot, and they are 130
percent more likely to die from choking on their dinner.134

* Myth: There are more guns in schools today because of lax gun control laws.To the
contrary, two facts put this myth to rest:

*Fact: Currently, there are strict laws that, with few exceptions, prevent adults from
possessing a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. These and other gun control laws
have failed to keep guns off school grounds.

*Fact: In the past, "guns in schools" were never a problem during the era when
children had the greatest access to firearms. For example, even though there were far
fewer gun control laws on the books in the 1950's, there was not a problem with illegal
guns in schools. Rather, the top problems in American classrooms during that era were
such (non-violent) activities as chewing gum, talking in class and running in the halls.

* More on guns in schools. So what has changed? Why do illegal guns make their way
onto school grounds today, even though federal gun control laws have now grown to
comprise more than 88,000 words of restrictions and requirements?135 There are
several possible reasons, including:

a. Lax punishment of juvenile children. Several state studies have shown


that juvenile offenders will make several journeys through the legal
system before doing any time in a penal facility.136 This problem, of
course, is not just limited to juveniles. A murderer of any age (in 1990)
could expect to serve only 1.8 years in prison, after one considers the risk
of apprehension and the length of the sentence.137

b. Imitation of T.V. violence. Before completing the sixth grade, the


average American child sees 8,000 homicides and 100,000 acts of violence
on television.138 Two surveys of young American males found that 22 to
34 percent had tried to perform crime techniques they had watched on
television.139

c. Morality shift. "The kids have changed," says Judge Gaylord Finch,
speaking with the help of a dozen years of observation from his bench,
where he sits as chief judge of Juvenile and Domestic Relations District
Court. "The values have just become so relative, and it sometimes seems
we have no values in common anymore."140

D. Women and Guns

* At least 17 million women own firearms in the United States.141 And according to the
National Research Opinion Center, 44 percent of adult women either own or have
access to firearms.142

* As many as 561 times a day, women use guns to protect themselves against sexual
assault.143

* In 89.6% of violent crimes directed against women, the offender does not have a
gun; and only 10% of rapists carry a firearm.144 Thus, armed women will usually have
a decided advantage against their attackers.

* A man can kill a woman with whatever he has at hand, but she can usually only resist
him successfully with a gun. Don Kates, a civil rights attorney who specializes in
firearms issues, cites a Detroit study showing that three-quarters of wives who killed
their spouses were not even charged, since prosecutors found their acts necessary to
protect their lives or their children’s lives.145

8. Eight Common Gun Control Myths

A. Myth #1: If one has a gun in the home, one is three times more likely to be
killed than if there is no gun present.

1. Fact: Guns are used more often to save life. Dr. Edgar Suter has
pointed out that studies which make the claim that guns are more likely to
kill the owner are flawed because they fail to consider the number of lives
saved by guns.146 That is, such claims ignore the vast number of non-
lethal defensive uses with firearms. Criminologists have found that citizens
use firearms as often as 2.5 million times every year in self-defense. In
over 90% of these defensive uses, citizens merely brandish their gun or
fire a warning shot to scare off the attacker.147

2. Fact: A study claiming "guns more likely to kill you than help you" is a
total fraud. Not surprisingly, the figure claiming one is three times more
likely to be killed by one’s own gun is a total lie. The author of this study,
Dr. Arthur Kellerman, refused to release the data behind his conclusions
for years.148 Subsequently available evidence shows why Kellerman
stonewalled for so long:

* Researcher Don Kates reveals that all available data now indicates that the "home
gun homicide victims [in Kellerman’s study] were killed using guns not kept in the
victim’s home." In other words, the victims were NOT murdered with their own guns!
They were killed "by intruders who brought their own guns to the victim’s
household."149

* In retrospect, Kates found, it was not the ownership of firearms that put these victims
at high risk. Rather, it was the victim’s "high-risk life-styles [such as criminal
associations] that caused them to own guns at higher rates than the members of the
supposedly comparable control group."150

B. Myth #2: Most homicides are committed by otherwise law-abiding people


who end up killing a friend or relative.

1. While most murders do involve the killing of an acquaintance, it is


fallacious to assume these are otherwise law-abiding people killing one
another. In fact, sixty-one percent of murder victims themselves—and an
even greater majority of murderers—have prior criminal records.151 This
indicates that most murders occur between criminals who have already
demonstrated a pattern of violence.

2. The problem? The criminal justice system is a revolving door which


continues to throw violent offenders back onto the street. Nationwide,
70% of murderers (under sentence of death) have prior felony
convictions.152 This number does not include criminals who have plea-
bargained their felonies down to lesser charges.

C. Myth #3: Gun Control has reduced the crime rates in other countries.

1. The murder rates in many nations (such as England) were ALREADY


LOW BEFORE enacting gun control. Thus, their restrictive laws cannot be
credited with lowering their crime rates.153

2. Gun control has done nothing to keep crime rates from rising in many
of the nations that have imposed severe firearms restrictions.

* Australia: Readers of the USA Today newspaper discovered in 2002 that, "Since
Australia's 1996 laws banning most guns and making it a crime to use a gun
defensively, armed robberies rose by 51%, unarmed robberies by 37%, assaults by
24% and kidnappings by 43%. While murders fell by 3%, manslaughter rose by
16%."154

* Canada: After enacting stringent gun control laws in 1991 and 1995, Canada has not
made its citizens any safer. "The contrast between the criminal violence rates in the
United States and in Canada is dramatic," says Canadian criminologist Gary Mauser in
2003. "Over the past decade, the rate of violent crime in Canada has increased while in
the United States the violent crime rate has plummeted."155

* England: According to the BBC News, handgun crime in the United Kingdom rose by
40% in the two years after it passed its draconian gun ban in 1997.156
* Japan: One newspaper headline says it all: Police say "Crime rising in Japan, while
arrests at record low." 157

3. British citizens are now more likely to become a victim of


crime than are people in the United States:

* In 1998, a study conducted jointly by statisticians from the U.S. Department of Justice
and the University of Cambridge in England found that most crime is now worse in
England than in the United States.

* "You are more likely to be mugged in England than in the United States," stated the
Reuters news agency in summarizing the study. "The rate of robbery is now 1.4 times
higher in England and Wales than in the United States, and the British burglary rate is
nearly double America’s."158 The murder rate in the United States is reportedly higher
than in England, but according to the DOJ study, "the difference between the [murder
rates in the] two countries has narrowed over the past 16 years."159

* The United Nations confirmed these results in 2000 when it reported that the crime
rate in England is higher than the crime rates of 16 other industrialized nations,
including the United States.160

4. British authorities routinely underreport murder statistics.

Comparing statistics between different nations can be quite difficult since foreign
officials frequently use different standards in compiling crime statistics.

* The British media has remained quite critical of authorities there for "fiddling" with
crime data. Consider some of the headlines in their papers: "Crime figures a sham, say
police,"161 "Police are accused of fiddling crime data,"162 and "Police figures under-
record offences by 20 percent."163

* British police have also criticized the system because of the "widespread
manipulation" of crime data:

a. "Officers said that pressure to convince the public that police


were winning the fight against crime had resulted in a long list of
ruses to ‘massage’ statistics."164

b. Sgt. Mike Bennett says officers have become increasingly


frustrated with the practice of manipulating statistics. "The crime
figures are meaningless," he said. "Police everywhere know exactly
what is going on."165

c. According to The Electronic Telegraph, "Officers said the


recorded level of crime bore no resemblance to the actual amount
of crime being committed."166

* Underreporting crime data: "One former Scotland Yard officer told The Telegraph of a
series of tricks that rendered crime figures ‘a complete sham.’ A classic example, he
said, was where a series of homes in a block of flats were burgled and were regularly
recorded as one crime. Another involved pickpocketing, which was not recorded as a
crime unless the victim had actually seen the item being stolen."167

* Underreporting murder data: British crime reporting tactics keep murder rates
artificially low. "Suppose that three men kill a woman during an argument outside a bar.
They are arrested for murder, but because of problems with identification (the main
witness is dead), charges are eventually dropped. In American crime statistics, the
event counts as a three-person homicide, but in British statistics it counts as nothing at
all. ‘With such differences in reporting criteria, comparisons of U.S. homicide rates with
British homicide rates is a sham,’ [a 2000 report from the Inspectorate of Constabulary]
concludes."168

5. Violence by any other name is still violent

Many countries with strict gun control laws have violence rates that are equal to, or
greater than, that of the United States. Consider the following rates:

High Gun Low Gun


Ownership Countries Ownership Countries
Country Suicide Homicide Total* Country Suicide Homicide Total*
Switzerland 21.4 2.7 24.1 Denmark 22.3 4.9 27.2
U.S. 11.6 7.4 19.0 France 20.8 1.1 21.9
Israel 6.5 1.4 7.9 Japan** 16.7 0.6 17.3

* The figures listed in the table are the rates per 100,000 people.

** Suicide figures for Japan also include many homicides.

Source for table: U.S. figures for 1996 are taken from the Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
and FBI Uniform Crime Reports. The rest of the table is taken from the UN 1996
Demographic Yearbook (1998), cited at http://www.haciendapub.com/stolinsky.html.

6. The United States has experienced far fewer TOTAL MURDERS


than Europe over the last 70 years.

In trying to claim that gun-free Europe is more peaceful than America, gun control
advocates routinely ignore the overwhelming number of murders that have been
committed in Europe.

* Over the last 70 years, Europe has averaged about 400,000 murders per year, when
one includes the murders committed by governments against mostly unarmed
people.169 That murder rate is about 16 times higher than the murder rate in the
U.S.170

* Why hasn’t the United States experienced this kind of government oppression? Many
reasons could be cited, but the Founding Fathers indicated that an armed populace was
the best way of preventing official brutality. Consider the words of James Madison in
Federalist 46: Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be
formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would
not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side,
would be able to repel the danger . . . a militia amounting to near half a million of
citizens with arms in their hands.171

D. Myth #4: Recent gun control laws have reduced the U.S. murder rate.

1. Murder rate was already decreasing before Brady and semi-auto gun
ban passed. Those who claim that the two gun control laws enacted in
1994 have reduced the murder rate ignore the fact that the U.S. murder
rate has been decreasing from the high it reached in 1991.172 Thus, the
murder rate had already begun decreasing two to three years before the
Brady law and the semi-auto gun ban became law.

2. Murder rate decrease results from fewer violent youths. The


Democratic Judiciary Committee noted in 1991 that, "An analysis of the
murder tolls since 1960 offers compelling evidence of the link—the
significant rise of murder in the late 1960's, and the slight decrease in
murder in the early 1980's follows from an unusually large number of 18-
24 year-olds in the general population. This age group is the most violent
one, as well as the group most likely to be victimized—and the murder
figures ebb and flow with their ranks."173 (Emphasis added.)

3. According to the Clinton Justice Department, crime has decreased even


while the number of guns increased. The Bureau of Justice Statistics, the
research arm of the Justice Department, reported in 2000 that while the
number of firearms in circulation rose nearly 10% during a recent five-
year period, gun-related deaths and woundings dropped174 33%.

4. Concealed carry laws have dropped murder and crime rates in the
states that have enacted them. According to a comprehensive study which
studied crime statistics in all of the counties in the United States from
1977 to 1992, states which passed concealed carry laws reduced their
murder rate by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and
robbery by 3%.175

E. Myth #5: The Courts have never overturned a gun control law, and thus,
there is no individual right guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

1. U.S. Senate Subcommittee Report (1982)

* Courts have used the Second Amendment to strike down gun control: Nunn v. State
and in re Brickey are just two examples where the Courts have struck down gun control
laws using the Second Amendment.176

* An individual right protected: "The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history,
concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United
States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first
half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of
a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner."177

2. U.S. Supreme Court

* U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez (1990). "‘The people’ seems to have been a term of art
employed in select parts of the Constitution. . . . [and] it suggests that ‘the people’
protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to
whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a
class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise
developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that
community."178

* U.S. v. Lopez (1995). The Court struck down a federal law which prevented the
possessing of firearms within 1,000 feet of a school. The Court argued that the
Commerce Clause of the Constitution in no way grants Congress the authority to enact
such gun control legislation.179

* Printz v. U.S. (1997). The Supreme Court ruled the federal government could not
force state authorities to conduct so-called Brady background checks on gun buyers.180

* Majority of the Supreme Court cases clearly point to an individual right. In a


mammoth work produced January 2004, three authors reprinted and analyzed the
dozens of Supreme Court cases that have referenced the Second Amendment. Their
conclusion? "These cases suggest that the Justices of the Supreme Court do now and
usually have regarded the Second Amendment ‘right of the people to keep and bear
arms’ as an individual right, rather than as a right of state governments."181

3. U.S. Congress:

Fourteenth Amendment (1868):

* The framers of the 14th Amendment intended to protect an individual’s Second


Amendment right to keep and bear arms by striking down state laws that denied this
right. As stated by a Senate subcommittee in 1982, "[During] the debates over the
Fourteenth Amendment, Congress frequently referred to the Second Amendment as
one of the rights which it intended to guarantee against state action."182
Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (1986):

* The 1986 Law affirms individual right to keep and bear arms: "The Congress finds
that the right of citizens to keep and bear arms under the second amendment to the
United States Constitution . . . require[s] additional legislation to correct existing
firearms statutes and enforcement policies."183 [Emphasis added.]

4. Nothing in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution authorizes


Congress to pass gun control legislation (see U.S. v. Lopez, 1995). Since
the adoption of the Constitution, courts have ruled on both sides of the
issue, indicating that judges are just as political as the common man.
F. Myth #6: The Second Amendment militia is the National Guard.

The Founding Fathers made it clear that the Militia was composed of the populace at
large. Both the Congress and Supreme Court have affirmed this definition of the Militia.

1. Founding Fathers

* George Mason: "I ask, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people,
except a few public officers."184

* Virginia Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 13 (1776): "That a well-regulated militia, composed


of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a
free State; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to
liberty. . . ."

* Richard Henry Lee: "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the
people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use
them . . . . The mind that aims at a select militia [like the National Guard], must be
influenced by a truly anti-republican principle."185

2. U.S. Congress

* The Militia Act of 1792. One year after the Second Amendment was added to the
Constitution, Congress passed a law defining the militia. The Militia Act of 1792 declared
that all free male citizens between the ages of 18 and 44 were to be members of the
militia. Furthermore, every citizen was to be armed. The Act stated:
"Every citizen . . . [shall] provide himself with a good musket, or firelock, a sufficient
bayonet and belt, two spare flints . . . ."186

The Militia Act of 1792 made no provision for any type of select militia such as the
National Guard.

* U.S. Senate Subcommittee Report (1982). "In the Militia Act of 1792, the second
Congress defined ‘militia of the United States’ to include almost every free adult male in
the United States. These persons were obligated by law to possess a [military-style]
firearm and a minimum supply of ammunition and military equipment. . . . There can be
little doubt from this that when the Congress and the people spoke of the a ‘militia,’
they had reference to the traditional concept of the entire populace capable of bearing
arms, and not to any formal group such as what is today called the National Guard."187

* Current Federal Law: 10 U.S.C. Sec. 311. "The militia of the United States consists of
all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and . . . under 45 years of age who are,
or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States . .
. ."188
3. Supreme Court: U.S. v. Miller (1939).

In this case, the Court stated that, "The Militia comprised all males physically
capable of acting in concert for the common defense . . . [and that] when called
for service, these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by
themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."189

G. Myth #7: Trigger locks will help save lives.

1. Fact: Locking up firearms can cost lives during a life-threatening


situation. Consider two different cases from California.

* Merced. On the morning of August 23, 2000, Jonathon David Bruce attacked a
houseful of kids. Armed with a pitchfork—and without a stitch of clothing on his body—
Bruce proceeded to stab the children. Two of them died.
The oldest of the children, Jessica Carpenter (14), was quite proficient with firearms.
She had been trained by her father and knew how to use them. There was just one
problem: the guns were locked up in compliance with California state law. Unable to
use the firearms, Jessica was forced to flee the house to get help. Mr. Bruce’s
murderous rampage was finally cut short when officers—carrying guns—arrived on the
scene.190

* San Francisco. Contrast the Carpenter’s tragic situation to that of A.D. Parker. In
February 2000, he was awakened by strange noises outside his bedroom in the middle
of the night. The 83-year-old Parker grabbed a handgun he had not even used in
several decades, went to his bedroom door, and found himself face-to-face with a thug
holding a crowbar.

Thankfully, Mr. Parker didn’t have to fiddle with a trigger lock, remember a
combination, or look for a key in the dark room. He simply pointed the gun and pulled
the trigger. That is why he survived the attack.191

2. Fact: A trigger lock can be very difficult to remove from a firearm in an


emergency. Maryland Governor Parris Glendening struggled for at least
two whole minutes to remove a trigger lock at a training session in March
2000.192 If it can take that long to remove such a lock—when there’s
only the pressure of being embarrassed in front of the cameras—what will
a trigger lock mean for a homeowner who needs to use his or her self-
defense gun during an emergency, in the bedroom, in the dark?

3. Fact: The Mafia favors trigger locks—for their victims. Mafia turncoat,
Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, expressed his love for gun control in an
interview with Vanity Fair: "Gun control? It’s the best thing you can do for
crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I’m a bad guy, I’m
always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You pull the trigger with a lock
on, and I’ll pull the trigger. We’ll see who wins."193
H. Myth #8: A majority of Americans favor gun control.

1. Fact: Biases exist in almost any poll. Those who understand how
politics work will realize that many surveys get the "desired result" by
asking questions in a certain way. In fact, pollsters such as Harris and
Gallup have been severely criticized for designing gun-related questions
that will reach a preordained conclusion.194

2. Fact: The poll that counts takes place on Election Day. Because of the
potential for bias among pollsters, it is often helpful to see how voters
respond to specific gun laws AFTER they are enacted. Even more to the
point, it is helpful to see how anti-gun candidates have reacted to the
elections where gun control was a hot button issue. Gun rights were the
number one issue in Bush’s victory over Gore (2000)

a. Gun control views handed Gore a loss in three key Democratic


states (Baltimore Sun). "Had Al Gore carried Bill Clinton's home
state [Arkansas], his own home state [Tennessee] or what
arguably has been the most reliable Democratic state in the
country [West Virginia], he'd had been president. But Mr. Gore lost
all three. Professionals in both parties think his position on gun
control was the reason why."195

b. Democratic governors faulted Gore for pushing gun control (The


Christian Science Monitor). "A group of Southern Democratic
governors recently told reporters that they believed the gun-control
issue had hurt Gore in their region [in November of 2000]. ‘We like
to hunt; we like to fish—and I think there was a perception in the
last general election ... that [Gore] was out of step with what most
of us thought about that issue,’ said Gov. Roy Barnes (D) of
Georgia."196

c. Gore officials lament how there is little voter "intensity" for gun
control:

* The New Republic Online: Democratic party strategists speak of an "intensity gap."
"Guns are a motivating issue for a sizable number of voters on the right, but that’s not
matched elsewhere on the [left]," laments Gore spokesman Doug Hattaway.197

* USA Today: "We lost a number of voters who on almost every other issue realized
they'd be better off with Al Gore," Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, Gore's running
mate, says of the gun issue. "They were anxious ... about what would happen if Al was
elected. This one matters a lot to people who otherwise want to vote for us."198
Gun control caused Democrats to lose their grip on Congress (1994)

d. President Bill Clinton repeatedly blamed gun control (which he


supported) as the reason that Democrats lost control of the
Congress during the elections of 1994:
* January 14, 1995. "The fight for the assault-weapons ban cost 20 members their
seats in Congress ... [and is] the reason the Republicans control the House."199

* January 24, 1995. "I don’t think it’s a secret to anybody in this room that several
members of the last Congress who voted for [the Brady bill and the semi-auto ban]
aren’t here tonight because they voted for it. . . . [A] lot of people laid down their seats
in Congress."200

* April 27, 1999. "There are some [Democrats] who would be on this platform today
who lost their seats in 1994 because they voted for the Brady Bill and they voted for
the assault weapons ban."201

* June 4, 1999. "This Congress came to power after the 1994 elections because in
critical races the people who voted for more modest things, like the Brady Bill . . . got
beat. They got beat, Charlie."202 After the 1994 election, Campaigns & Elections
magazine documented how the gun issue was a major factor in 55 races where pro-gun
challengers beat sitting incumbents.203

Voters often support pro-gun positions on initiatives around the country

a. Washington voters shot down a trigger locks initiative by a whopping 71-29%


margin in 1997.204

b. Wisconsin voters passed a Right to Keep and Bear Arms Constitutional


Amendment by a 74-26% margin in 1998.205

c. Also in the state of Wisconsin, Milwaukee voters trounced a city-wide handgun


ban in 1994. The initiative lost 67-33%.206

d. In 1982, California voters rejected (against heavy odds and a hostile media)
Proposition 15, a statewide initiative which would have banned the possession of
privately owned handguns. The handgun ban lost by a 63-37% margin.207

e. Even in liberal Massachusetts, voters overwhelmingly rejected a ban on


handguns in 1976. More than 70 percent of voters cast their ballots against the
ban.208

3. Fact: Several polls show that Americans are still pro-gun. While
affirming that the potential for bias exists in any given poll, there are,
nevertheless, several scientific polls indicating that the right to keep and
bear arms is revered—and gun control disdained—by a majority of
Americans today.

a. In 2002, an ABC News poll found that almost three-fourths of


the American public believe that the Second Amendment of the
U.S. Constitution protects the rights of "individuals" to own
guns.209
b. Zogby pollsters found that by a more than 3 to 1 margin,
Americans support punishing "criminals who use a gun in the
commission of a crime" over legislation to "ban handguns."210

c. A Research 2000 poll found that 85% of Americans would find it


appropriate for a principal or teacher to use "a gun at school to
defend the lives of students" to stop a school massacre.211

d. In a Time/CNN poll conducted just weeks after the September


11 terrorist attacks, 61 percent said they favored allowing pilots to
carry guns.212 A subsequent poll conducted by Wilson Research
Strategies found support for arming pilots had risen to almost
seven in ten people (68 percent).213

e. Shortly after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in


Littleton, Colorado, a Colorado News poll showed that 65 percent of
people surveyed favored a concealed-carry law allowing private
citizens to carry firearms.214

This finding shocked anti-gun spokesmen who felt that the then-recent tragedy should
have suppressed support for gun rights in the state of Colorado. "What really surprises
me is we’re at ground zero and I would expect our numbers to be higher," said Arnie
Grossman, co-founder of SAFE, an anti-gun group in Colorado. "I think it means we
have a big job ahead of us."215

Footnotes
1 Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature
of Self-Defense With a Gun," 86 The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology,
Northwestern University School of Law, 1 (Fall 1995):164. Dr. Kleck is a professor in the
school of criminology and criminal justice at Florida State University in Tallahassee. He
has researched extensively and published several essays on the gun control issue. His
book, Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America, has become a widely cited source in
the gun control debate. In fact, this book earned Dr. Kleck the prestigious American
Society of Criminology Michael J. Hindelang award for 1993. This award is given for the
book published in the past two to three years that makes the most outstanding
contribution to criminology. Even those who don't like the conclusions Dr. Kleck
reaches, cannot argue with his impeccable research and methodology. In "A Tribute to
a View I Have Opposed," Marvin E. Wolfgang writes that, "What troubles me is the
article by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. The reason I am troubled is that they have
provided an almost clear-cut case of methodologically sound research in support of
something I have theoretically opposed for years, namely, the use of a gun in defense
against a criminal perpetrator. . . . I have to admit my admiration for the care and
caution expressed in this article and this research. Can it be true that about two million
instances occur each year in which a gun was used as a defensive measure against
crime? It is hard to believe. Yet, it is hard to challenge the data collected. We do not
have contrary evidence." Wolfgang, "A Tribute to a View I Have Opposed," The Journal
of Criminal Law and Criminology, at 188. Wolfgang says there is no "contrary evidence."
Indeed, there are more than a dozen national polls—one of which was conducted by
The Los Angeles Times—that have found figures comparable to the Kleck-Gertz study.
Even the Clinton Justice Department (through the National Institute of Justice) found
there were as many as 1.5 million defensive users of firearms every year. See National
Institute of Justice, "Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of
Firearms," Research in Brief (May 1997). As for Dr. Kleck, readers of his materials may
be interested to know that he is a member of the ACLU, Amnesty International USA,
and Common Cause. He is not and has never been a member of or contributor to any
advocacy group on either side of the gun control debate.
2 According to the National Safety Council, the total number of gun deaths (by
accidents, suicides and homicides) account for less than 30,000 deaths per year. See
Injury Facts, published yearly by the National Safety Council, Itasca, Illinois.
3 Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig, "Guns in America: National Survey on Private
Ownership and Use of Firearms," NIJ Research in Brief (May 1997); available at
http://www.ncjrs.org/txtfiles/165476.txt. The finding of 1.5 million yearly self-defense
cases did not sit well with the anti-gun bias of the study’s authors, who attempted to
explain why there could not possibly be one and a half million cases of self-defense
every year. Nevertheless, the 1.5 million figure is consistent with a mountain of
independent surveys showing similar figures. The sponsors of these studies—nearly a
dozen—are quite varied, and include anti-gun organizations, news media organizations,
governments and commercial polling firms. See also Kleck and Gertz, supra note 1, pp.
182-183.
4 One of the authors of the University of Chicago study reported on the study's findings
in John R. Lott, Jr., "More Guns, Less Violent Crime," The Wall Street Journal (28
August 1996). See also John R. Lott, Jr. and David B. Mustard, "Crime, Deterrence, and
Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns," University of Chicago (15 August 1996); and Lott,
More Guns, Less Crime (1998, 2000).
5 Jens Ludwig and Philip J. Cook, "Homicide and Suicide Rates Associated With
Implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act," Journal of the
American Medical Association, vol. 284, no. 5 (August 2, 2000).
6 For football deaths, see Frederick O. Mueller, Annual Survey of Football Injury
Research: 1931-2001, National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research (February
2002) at http://www.unc.edu/depts/nccsi/SurveyofFootballInjuries.htm. For school
firearms murders, see Dr. Ronald D. Stephens, "School Associated Violent Deaths," The
National School Safety Center Report (June 3, 2002) at http://www.NSSC1.org. In
addition to the 22 murders which occurred on school property or at school-sponsored
events, there were another two shooting deaths which were accidents and twelve which
were suicides.
7 The BATF estimates that licensed gun dealers sell about 4 million new firearms each
year. See US Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,
Commerce in Firearms in the United States (February 2000), p. 6, which is available at
http://www.atf.treas.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/020400report.pdf. A similar statistic which
tracks with the number of firearms sold is the production of new firearms. According to
the American Firearms Industry, there were about 4 million new firearms produced
each year during the first half of the 1990s in this country. See American Firearms
Industry, Production: 1973-1995 at http://www.amfire.com/production.htm. Numbers
revealing the drop in the U.S. murder rate during the 1990s, can be examined using the
FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. Murders in the United States dropped from a high of 9.4
murders per 100,000 in 1990 to a rate of 5.7 per 100,000 in 1999—a drop of 39%.
8 Accidental gun deaths in the home decreased by 38% between 1990 and 1999.
National Safety Council, Injury Facts (2000), p. 125.
9 The CDC study examined gun and ammunition bans, waiting periods, background
checks, lock-up your safety laws, plus much more. The inescapable conclusion was that
the "evidence was insufficient" to show that such gun restrictions reduced crime rates.
[Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness
of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Early Childhood Home Visitation and Firearms
Laws," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (October 3, 2003), vol. 52(No. RR-
14):14-18.] It should be noted that Dr. John’s Lott research—made widely available in
More Guns, Less Crime (see supra note 4)—was part of the data examined by the CDC.
The agency concluded there was no evidence to support the idea that "shall issue"
carry laws reduce crime. Despite the agency’s vote of no confidence in Lott’s data, his
research has been verified by other independent works, such as the one published in
the Stanford Law Review. [Florenz Plassmann and John Whitley, "Confirming ‘More
Guns, Less Crime,’" Stanford Law Review (April 16, 2003), vol. 55:1313.]
This law review article by Plassmann and Whitley cites several other studies showing
that concealed carry laws have made a positive impact on crime rates—in some cases,
finding benefits much greater than what was reported in Lott’s research. Those studies
include the following: William Alan Bartley & Mark A. Cohen, The Effect of Concealed
Weapons Laws: An Extreme Bound Analysis, 36 ECON. INQUIRY 258, 258-65 (1998);
Stephen G. Bronars and John R. Lott, Jr., Criminal Deterrence, Geographic Spillovers,
and Right-to-Carry Laws, AM. ECON. REV., May 1998, at 475-79; John R. Lott, Jr. &
John E. Whitley, Safe-Storage Gun Laws: Accidental Deaths, Suicides, and Crime, 44
J.L. & ECON. 659, 659-89 (2001); Tomas B. Marvell, The Impact of Banning Juvenile
Gun Possession, 44 J.L. & ECON. 691, 691-714 (2001); Carlisle E. Moody, Testing for
the Effects of Concealed Weapons Laws: Specification Errors and Robustness, 44 J.L. &
ECON. 799, 799-813 (2001); David B. Mustard, The Impact of Gun Laws on Police
Deaths, 44 J.L. & ECON. 635, 635-58 (2001); David E. Olson & Michael D. Maltz, Right-
to-Carry Concealed Weapon Laws and Homicide in Large U.S. Counties: The Effect on
Weapon Types, Victim Characteristics, and Victim-Offender Relationships, 44 J.L. &
ECON. 747, 747-70 (2001); Florenz Plassmann & T. Nicolaus Tideman, Does the Right
to Carry Concealed Handguns Deter Countable Crimes? Only a Count Analysis Can Say,
44 J.L. & ECON. 771, 771-98 (2001); Eric Helland & Alexander Tabarrok, Using Placebo
Laws to Test "More Guns, Less Crime": A Note (Univ. of Chi. Graduate Sch. of Bus.,
Working Paper, 2002).
10 National Institute of Justice, "Homicide in Eight U.S. Cities: Trends, Context, and
Policy Implications," Research Report (December 1997), p. 99.
11 Caroline Wolf Harlow, "Firearm Use by Offenders: Survey of Inmates in State and
Federal Correctional Facilities," Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report (November
2001), p. 1.
12 Daniel Merkle, "America: It’s Our Right to Bear Arms," ABCNews.com (May 14,
2002). The poll of 1,028 adults was conducted between May 8 and 12 of 2002. The poll
found that after hearing the text of the Second Amendment verbatim, 73 percent of the
American public viewed the amendment as guaranteeing an individual right. Only 20
percent thought the amendment guaranteed the right of a state to maintain a militia.
13 "Zogby American Values Poll Results," The Washington Times (March 28, 2000).
14 Research 2000 of Rockville, Maryland. This survey was conducted from January 30
through February 1, 2002. A total of 1101 likely voters nationally were interviewed by
telephone.
15 See supra notes 2 and 3.
17 Don B. Kates, "Guns and Public Health: Epidemic of Violence, or Pandemic of
Propaganda?" in Gary Kleck & Kates, Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control (2001),
p.75.
17 Ibid.
18 "Handgun crime 'up' despite ban," BBC News Online (July 16, 2001) at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/uk/newsid_1440000/1440764.stm.
19 John van Kesteren, Pat Mayhew and Paul Nieuwbeerta, "Criminal Victimisation in
Seventeen Industrialised Courtries: Key findings from the 2000 International Crime
Victims Survey," (2000). This study can be read at
http://www.unicri.it/icvs/publications/index_pub.htm. The link is to the ICVS
homepage; study data are available for download as Acrobat pdf files.
20 See supra note 1.
21 See supra note 2.
22 Kleck and Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime," at 173, 185.
23 Kleck and Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime," at 185.
24 See supra note 3.
25 Kleck, Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America, (1991):111-116, 148.
26 George F. Will, "Are We ‘a Nation of Cowards’?," Newsweek (15 November 1993):93.
27 Id. at 164, 185.
28 Dr. Gary Kleck, interview with J. Neil Schulman, "Q and A: Guns, crime and self-
defense," The Orange County Register (19 September 1993). In the interview with
Schulman, Dr. Kleck reports on findings from a national survey which he and Dr. Marc
Gertz conducted in Spring, 1993—a survey which findings were reported in Kleck and
Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime."
29 See supra note 4.
30 Lott and Mustard, "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns."
31 Kathleen O’Leary Morgan, Scott Morgan and Neal Quitno, "Rankings of States in
Most Dangerous/Safest State Awards 1994 to 2003," Morgan Quitno Press (2004) at
http://www.statestats.com/dang9403.htm. Morgan Quitno Press is an independent
private research and publishing company which was founded in 1989. The company
specializes in reference books and monthly reports that compare states and cities in
several different subject areas. In the first 10 years in which they published their Safest
State Award, Vermont has consistently remained one of the top five safest states.
32 Memo by Jim Smith, Secretary of State, Florida Department of State, Division of
Licensing, Concealed Weapons/Firearms License Statistical Report (October 1, 2002).
33 Florida’s murder rate was 11.4 per 100,000 in 1987, but only 5.5 in 2002. Compare
Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Crime in the United States," Uniform Crime Reports,
(1988): 7, 53; and FBI, (2003):19, 79.
34 From 1988 through 2002, there were 229 documented alligator attacks on human
beings in Florida. This does not include any unreported encounters. Interview with
Henry Cabbage, Media Relations for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation,
Tallahassee, Florida (25 July 2003). By contrast, there were only 155 CCW holders who
used their guns during the same period to commit a crime. See supra note 32.
35 John R. Lott, Jr., "Right to carry would disprove horror stories," Kansas City Star, (12
July 2003).
36 The comparison period between Georgia and Wisconsin is for the years 1976 to
1993. The enactment of the national Brady waiting period in 1994 ended the ability to
extend, beyond 1993, any comparison of waiting periods and concealed carry laws in
states such as Georgia and Wisconsin. Compare FBI, "Crime in the United States,"
Uniform Crime Reports (1977):45, 53; and FBI, (1994):70, 78.
37 Gary Kleck, "Crime Control Through the Private Use of Armed Force," Social
Problems 35 (February 1988):15.
38 Compare Kleck, "Crime Control," at 15, and Chief Dwaine L. Wilson, City of
Kennesaw Police Department, "Month to Month Statistics: 1991." (Residential burglary
rates from 1981-1991 are based on statistics for the months of March - October.)
39 Kleck, Point Blank, at 140.
40 Kleck, "Crime Control," at 13.
41 U.S. Department of Justice, Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, Rape
Victimization in 26 American Cities (1979), p. 31.
42 U.S., Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, "The Armed Criminal in
America: A Survey of Incarcerated Felons," Research Report (July 1985): 27.
43 Id.
44 Id.
45 Warren v. District of Columbia, D.C. App., 444 A. 2d 1 (1981). See also Richard W.
Stevens, Dial 911 and Die (1999) which gives the laws and cases in all 50 states to
support the statement that government (police) owes no duty to protect individual
citizens from criminal attack.
46 Statement of Representative Ron Johnson in U.S. Senate, "Handgun Violence
Prevention Act of 1987," Hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the
Committee on the Judiciary (16 June 1987):33.
47 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics—1990
(1991):257.
48 Interview with Brian A. Reaves, Ph.D., statistician for the Bureau of Justice Statistics
in Washington, D.C. (January 11, 2001). In 1996, the total number (estimated) of all
law enforcement combined (federal, state and local) that were on duty and assigned to
respond to calls at any one time—on the average—was approximately 146,395 officers.
There were 265,463,000 people living in the United States in 1996 for an actual ratio of
1,813 citizens for every officer. See also Kleck, Point Blank, at 132.
49 The murder rates for Washington, D.C. and the nation were 26.8 and 8.8
respectively in 1976. Their respective murder rates 25 years later were 40.6 and 5.6.
These murder rates are based on the population per 100,000 people. FBI, "Crime in the
United States," Uniform Crime Reports (1977 and 2002).
50 FBI, "Crime in the United States," Uniform Crime Reports (October 28, 2002): 77.
51 Id. at 190. According to Arlington County’s Department of Planning, Housing and
Development, the population in Arlington, Virginia for 2001 was 190,092.
52 Id. at 85.
53 Gary Kleck, speech delivered to the National Research Council, quoted in Don B.
Kates, Jr., "Scholars’ ignorant bias causes anti-gun sentiments," Handguns (June 1991),
pp. 12-13.
54 "Gun Critic Shifts His Position," The Denver Post (November 28, 1985).
55 James D. Wright, "Second Thoughts About Gun Control," The Public Interest, 91
(Spring 1988):23, 25.
56 Dave Kopel, "Guns, Germs, and Science: Public Health Approaches to Gun Control,"
84 The Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia (June 1995): 272.
57 Id.
58 Congressional Record (May 8, 1991), at H 2859, H 2862.
59 Wall Street Journal (March 3, 1994) at A10.
60 Jonathan T. Lovitt, "Survival for the armed," USA Today (May 4, 1992).
61 U.S. Senate, "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms," Report of the Subcommittee on the
Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, (1982):12.
62 U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 US 259 (1990).
63 The court stated, "The fact that the liberty of the press may be abused by miscreant
purveyors of scandal does not make any less necessary the immunity of the press from
previous restraint in dealing with official misconduct. Subsequent punishment for such
abuses as may exist is the appropriate remedy, consistent with constitutional privilege."
Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697, 51 S. Ct. 625, 75 L. Ed. 1357 (1931).
64 Alan Korwin, Brady Law Closes Gun Stores More Than 8 Days, (Bloomfield Press:
July 28, 1999). Bloomfield Press can be contacted at http://www.bloomfieldpress.com.
65 Richard B. Abell, Assistant Attorney General, Task Force Chairman, Report to the
Attorney General on Systems for Identifying Felons Who Attempt to Purchase Firearms
(October 1989), p. 75.
66 Bureau of Justice Assistance, Grant Manager’s Memorandum, Pt. 1: Project Summary
(September 30, 1994), Project Number: 94-DD-CX-0166.
67 Copy of "FIST" (Firearms Inquiry Statistical Tracking) software at GOA headquarters,
Springfield, VA. See also Pennsylvania Sportsmen's News (Oct./Nov. 1996). The default
in the "FIST" computer software is for the police officials to indefinitely retain the
information on gun owners—despite the fact that the Brady law only allows officials to
retain this data for 20 days. One wonders who will ensure that this information will be
deleted after the 20th day.
68 Mike Slavonic, NRA Director and Chairman of the Legislative Committee for the
Allegheny County Sportsmen's League, states that the instant background check could
be "our downfall." He notes that, "What most Americans don't know is that once instant
check goes into effect in 1998 the purpose of Brady could be used to set the stage for
national confiscation. Instant check could eventually keep guns out of the hands of
everyone by registering everyone who purchases a handgun, rifle and shotgun and who
obtained concealed weapons permits in a computerized database like ‘FIST’. The most
difficult problem with a gun ban is locating the firearms. FIST [with the help of the
instant check], over time, could solve that problem." Slavonic, "Another Gun Database
Discovered," Pennsylvania Sportsmen's News (Oct./Nov. 1996) at 7.
69 FBI’s Final Rule printed in the Federal Register (October 30, 1998) at 58311. After
the FBI submitted its proposed regulations on June 4, 1998, Gun Owners of America
submitted written comments (in September of 1988) to challenge the FBI’s regulations.
GOA stated, "These proposed regulations are unlawful and unconstitutional. They are
so fundamentally corrupt that there are no incremental changes which will even
marginally improve them. Rest assured that they will be challenged in every possible
judicial and legislative forum. . . . The efforts to retain information on gun owners for
eighteen months—and indefinitely in your computer backup system—constitutes an
illegal system of firearms registration, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 926. The same is, in fact,
true even for efforts to retain information about persons prohibited from purchasing
firearms."
70 David B. Kopel, Policy Review 63 (Winter 1993):6.
71 Kopel, ed., Guns: Who Should Have Them? (1995) at 88, 117 (fn. 75), and 122 (fn.
124).
72 See supra note 5.
73 Scully, "Supremacist’s shooting spree could spur gun control moves," The
Washington Times (July 8, 1999).
74 Attorney General Betty D. Montgomery, "The U.S. Supreme Court’s Action in Striking
Portions of the Brady Act," News Statement (June 30, 1997).
75 Department of Justice, "Survey of Incarcerated Felons," p. 36.
76 Pierre Thomas, "In the Line of Fire: The ‘Straw Purchase’ Scam," The Washington
Post (August 18, 1991); and Thomas, "Va. Driver's License is Loophole for Guns: Fake
Addresses Used in No-Wait Sales," The Washington Post (January 20, 1992).
77 National Institute of Justice, "Homicide in Eight U.S. Cities: Trends, Context, and
Policy Implications," Research Report (December 1997), p. 99.
78 Meghan Hoyer, "Brady Act results overstated in Indiana," Indianapolis Star and
News (June 23, 1998).
79 See General Accounting Office, "Gun Control: Implementation of the Brady Handgun
Violence Prevention Act," Report to the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, and
the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives (January 1996), p. 8.
80 The Washington Times noted in July of 1999 that:
Although federal officials say about 400,000 persons have been prevented from buying
guns by the instant check system, only one has been prosecuted by the Department of
Justice in the last three years. [Sean Scully, "Supremacist’s shooting spree could spur
gun control moves," The Washington Times (July 8, 1999).]
That made for a whopping total of just eight prosecutions and merely three persons
sent to jail in the first five years the Brady Law was in existence. One certainly had to
conclude that the Brady Law was not working to put criminals behind bars. There are
no reliable, government statistics that regularly update the public on how many Brady
violators are being incarcerated. However, everyone agrees the number is very low. For
example, a training manual produced by Handgun Control, Inc., guides its activists in
how to answer a question regarding the low number of convictions under the Brady
Law. The manual basically says, when you are asked why so few people are being sent
to jail under Brady, just ignore the question. The question posed in the manual reads:
"Q: You claim that the Brady Law works, why have only 7 people been convicted for
violating the law?" To answer this question, the manual encourages activists to go on
the offensive and say the following: "A quarter-million high-risk people have been
stopped from buying firearms since 1994, and that was always the point of the Brady
law. Ninety percent of Americans agree that background checks and waiting periods are
sensible regulations that protect public safety. With the success of the Brady law, the
only people who continue to oppose regulating guns like other products are the gun
lobby and the politicians who receive their enormous campaign contributions." [Naomi
Paiss, "Sense and Sanity: A Guide to Talking about Gun Control," Handgun Control,
Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (November 1997).] In other words, since there is
no good answer to this question, from their perspective, activists are to remember
three words: Attack, Attack, Attack.
81 Of persons denied the right to purchase a firearm under the Brady Law, 7.6 percent
of the denials involved routine traffic stops. Another 38.9 percent were the result of
administrative snafus. Only 44.7 percent of denials were as a result of felony
convictions, and many of these resulted from white collar crimes and ancient
peccadilloes which would not suggest that the person would pose a danger. See supra
note 79 at 39-40, 64-65.
82 Id., at 4.
83 Id.
84 On August 16, 1991, New York City Mayor David Dinkins signed Local Law 78 which
banned the possession and sale of certain rifles and shotguns.
85 John Marzulli, "Weapons ban defied: S.I. man, arsenal seized," Daily News
(September 5, 1992).
86 "Thousands of Californians Become Instant Criminals," The New Gun Week (March
1, 1998). See also "Gun Confiscation Begins: Gun Law Victim Holds Press Conference
and Turns in Gun to Local Officials," NRA Press Release (January 28, 1998).
87 Id.
88 To read a photocopy of this notice, go to http://www.gunowners.org/fs9906.htm.
89 Id.
90 David Kopel, "Trust the People: The Case Against Gun Control," [Cato Institute]
Policy Analysis 109 (July 11, 1988):25.
91 Jay Simkin, Aaron Zelman and Alan M. Rice, Lethal Laws: "Gun Control" is the Key to
Genocide, (Milwaukee: Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, 1994).
92 Senate, "Handgun Violence," at 107, citing Novae Russkae Slovo, Vol. LXXII, No.
26.291, (6 Nov. 1983).
93 Kopel, "Trust the People," at 26.
94 Id., at 25-26.
95 U.S. News & World Report, (17 January 1994): 8.
96 Lamont v. Postmaster General, 381 U.S. 301, 85 S. Ct. 1493, 14 L. Ed. 2d 398
(1965).
97 Dr. Edward Ezell presented testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on the
Constitution in 1989, and while doing so, helped clarify the true definition of an "assault
rifle." The subcommittee record reports the following credentials for Dr. Ezell: Curator
of the National Firearms Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of
American History, and founding Director of the Institute for Research on Small Arms in
International Security.
98 Statement by Edward Ezell, "Assault Weapons," Hearings Before the Subcommittee
on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, (5 May 1989):396.
99 Defense Intelligence Agency, Small Arms Identification and Operation Guide—
Eurasian Communist Countries (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office,
1988):105, cited in Kopel, Guns: Who Should Have Them? at 162.
100 Kleck, Point Blank, at 70.
101 Senate, "Assault Weapons," at 396.
102 Officer William R. McGrath, "An Open Letter to American Politicians," The Police
Marksman (May/June 1989): 19.
103 Id.
104 Id.
105 Congressional Record, 13 September 1990:E 2826, citing [Police Advertisement],
Roll Call, 3 September 1990. Also, see Howard Schneider, "Gun Owners Take Shot at
Schaefer Assault-Weapon Bill," The Washington Post (February 15, 1991).
106 Iver Peterson, "Both Sides Say Trenton's Ban on Assault Rifles Has Little Effect on
Crime," The New York Times (June 20, 1993).
107 Id.
108 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Survey of State Prison
Inmates, 1991" (March 1993):18.
109 FBI, "Crime in the United States," (1994):18.
110 Matt L. Rodriguez, Superintendent of Police for the City of Chicago, 1993 Murder
Analysis at 12, 13.
111 Compare FBI, "Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted," Uniform Crime
Reports, for the years 1989 (0 officers); 1990 (two officers), at 24, 36; 1991 (three
officers), at 40, 41, 45; 1992 (two officers), at 46; 1993 (2 officers), at 41, 45.
Note: In 1993, there were three officers who died by unknown firearms which possibly
could have been classified as semi-automatic "assault weapons." (FBI, "Law
Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 1993," at 55.) These three died at Waco,
Texas—a jury later finding that authorities had provoked the residents at Mt. Carmel
into firing. (Carol Moore, The Davidian Massacre (1995): 450.) Also supporting this view
were two BATF agents who initially told the Texas Rangers that authorities had fired
first upon the Davidians. (J.L.Pate, "Prosecution Against Waco Survivors Begins," The
New Gun Week, (11 February 1994):5.) Despite the jury’s finding that authorities
provoked the residents in Mt. Carmel into firing, Newsweek and other news sources
have pointed out that the officers might have died from "friendly fire." ("Was it Friendly
Fire? In the bungled Waco raid, federal agents may have been shot by their own men,"
Newsweek, (5 April 1993):50.)
112 In the five years of 1989 to 1993, 30 officers were killed by their own service
weapons. By contrast, only 9 officers were killed by so-called assault weapons. Id, for
the years 1989, at 4; 1990, at 4, 24, 36; 1991, at 4, 40, 41, 45; 1992, at 4, 46; 1993,
at 4, 41, 45.
113 In the five years of 1989 to 1993, 15 officers were killed by knives and blunt
objects. By contrast, only nine officers were killed by so-called assault weapons.
Compare FBI, "Officers Killed," for the years 1989, at 4, 13, 26; 1990, at 4, 12, 24, 36;
and 1991, at 4, 40, 41, 45; 1992, at 4, 46; 1993, at 4, 13, 41, 45.
114 By using an inflated definition of "assault weapon," HCI attempts to "show" that
these guns killed 36 percent (a minority) of the policemen who were murdered between
January 1, 1994 and September 30, 1995. Of course, HCI's figure wildly departs from
the 1% figure given by official government studies. (See supra note 108.) See Handgun
Control, Inc., Cops Under Fire: Law Enforcement Officers Killed with Assault Weapons
or Guns with High Capacity Magazines, (29 November 1995):2.
115 Id. The HCI study borrowed the very expansive definition of semi-automatic
firearm from the Clinton gun ban which passed in 1994. This definition is so broad that
it covers over 180 types of firearms, including reproductions of the 1873 Winchester
and the 1860 Henry Rifles. (While the Clinton gun ban exempted reproductions of these
two guns under section 922(v)(3) of Title 18—the provisions defining what a semi-
automatic "assault weapon" is—the ban did not exempt these rifles under section
922(w)—the provision banning high-capacity magazines. Both of these rifles have
tubular-fed magazines holding over 10 rounds, thus making them banned firearms.)
The generic definition for an "assault weapon" in the Clinton gun ban would include
many, many other guns, had the law failed to specifically exclude several hundreds of
common guns which would have easily fallen under the definition of an "assault
weapon."
Not surprisingly, by using President Clinton's over-inflated definition of an "assault
weapon," HCI was able to find more and more of these guns killing officers. To extend
their logic, if HCI figures a way to define ALL guns as "assault weapons," then it will be
able to claim that these "assault weapons" comprise 100 percent of the guns that kill
policemen.
Even so, HCI has now encountered a dilemma with the publishing of their study: their
study "shows" that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of policemen
being killed by so-called assault weapons AFTER the ban was put in place. (HCI claims
that 36% of the guns killing officers are "assault weapons," but the government’s own
pre-ban figures show the number was only one percent. See supra note 108.) Thus,
either HCI's data is wrong, or it must concede that gun control INCREASES the threat to
police officers.
116 Keith Bea, Congressional Research Service, "‘Assault Weapons’: Military-Style
Semiautomatic Firearms Facts and Issues," CRS Report for Congress (13 May 1992,
Technical Revisions: 4 June 1992): 65.
117 Id. at 67.
118 Id. at 69.
119 Kleck, Point Blank, at 75.
120 Massad Ayoob, "Defending Firepower," Combat Handguns (October 1990), p. 71.
121 Id. at 70.
122 Id. at 25.
123 Id. at 71.
124 "Koreans make armed stand to protect shops from looters," Roanoke Times &
World-News, 3 May 1992.
125 U.S. Senate, "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms," Report of the Subcommittee on
the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary (1982):7.
126 U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939).
127 The Institute of Medicine says the number of yearly deaths in the United States
resulting from medical errors ranges from 44,000 to 98,000 people. See Linda T. Kohn,
Janet M. Corrigan, and Molla S. Donaldson, ed., "To Err is Human: Building a Safer
Health System," National Academy Press (2000). The full text of this report is available
at http://www.nap.edu/books/0309068371/html.
128 From 1970 to 1991, the number of fatal gun accidents for children aged 0-14
declined from 530 to 227. Kopel, Guns: Who Should Have Them? at 311. And according
to the National Safety Council, the decline has continued as there were only 142 fatal
gun accidents for children in that age group in 1997. National Safety Council, Injury
Facts: 2000 Edition, at 18.
129 Kleck, Point Blank, at 271, 276.
130 Id. at 286.
131 Id. at 276, 277.
132 According to Dr. Kleck, the number of children who take guns to school is between
16,000 and 17,000 students on any given day—or about 1 in every 800 high school
students. Kleck, cited in Kopel, Guns: Who Should Have Them?, at 323.
133 See supra note 6.
134 National Safety Council, Injury Facts: 2000 Edition, p. 10, 11, 18.
135 Alan Korwin, Researcher Finds Federal Gun Law Grew Nearly 6% in 1998, at
http://www.bloomfieldpress.com/6percent.htm.
136 Kopel, Guns: Who Should Have Them?, at 355.
137 Id., at 356.
138 Id., at 359.
139 Id., at 360. Kopel notes how several infamous criminals—such as John Hinckley
(who shot Jim Brady) and George Hennard (who killed 22 people at Luby's Cafeteria in
Killeen, Texas)—were each reenacting scenes from movies that they had previously
seen or studied.
140 Steve Twomey, "Indiscretions That Are Not So Youthful," The Washington Post
(December 6, 1993).
141 Christine Biegler, "Fearing crime, more women buy firearms," The Washington
Times (November 19, 1992).
142 Paxton Quigley, Armed & Female (1989): 7.
143 According to Dr. Gary Kleck, about 205,000 women use guns every year to protect
themselves against sexual abuse. Kleck and Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime," at
185.
144 Don B. Kates, Jr., Guns, Murders, and the Constitution: A Realistic Assessment of
Gun Control (1990), at 29, citing U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
145 Id., at 25, 26.
146 Dr. Edgar A. Suter, "Guns in the Medical Literature—A Failure of Peer Review," The
Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, vol. 83 (March 1994):136.
147 Kleck and Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime," at 173, 185.
148 Don B. Kates, "Guns and Public Health: Epidemic of Violence, or Pandemic of
Propaganda?" in Gary Kleck & Kates, Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control (2001),
p. 79.
149 Ibid., p. 75.
150 Ibid., p. 76.
151 Criminal histories of murder victims is based on statistics from the city of Chicago:
Matt L. Rodriguez, Superintendent of Police for the City of Chicago, 1997 Murder
Analysis, at 21; 1996 Murder Analysis, at 21; and 1995 Murder Analysis, at 21. For the
city of Chicago, 76% of murderers have prior criminal records. For criminal histories of
murderers nationwide, see Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Update (October 1991):
4.
152 Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Update, at 4.
153 Kleck, Point Blank, at 393, 394; Colin Greenwood, Chief Inspector of West
Yorkshire Constabulary, Firearms Control: A Study of Armed Crime and Firearms Control
in England and Wales (1972):31; David Kopel, The Samurai, the Mountie, and the
Cowboy: Should America Adopt the Gun Controls of Other Democracies (1992):91, 154.
154 Dr. John R. Lott, Jr., "Gun laws don’t reduce crime," USA Today (May 9, 2002). See
also Rhett Watson and Matthew Bayley, "Gun crime up 40pc since Port Arthur," The
Daily Telegraph (April 28, 2002). See also supra note 155.
155 Gary A. Mauser, "The Failed Experiment: Gun Control and Public Safety in Canada,
Australia, England and Wales," Public Policy Sources (The Fraser Institute, November
2003), no. 71:4. This study can be accessed at
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/shared/readmore.asp?sNav=pb&id=604.
156 "Handgun crime 'up' despite ban," BBC News Online (July 16, 2001) at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/uk/newsid_1440000/1440764.stm. England is a
prime example of how crime has increased after implementing gun control. For
example, the original Pistols Act of 1903 did not stop murders from increasing on the
island. The number of murders in England was 68 percent higher the year after the
ban’s enactment (1904) as opposed to the year before (1902). (Greenwood, supra note
153.) This was not an aberration, as almost seven decades later, firearms crimes in the
U.K. were still on the rise: the number of cases where firearms were used or carried in
a crime skyrocketed almost 1,000 percent from 1946 through 1969. (Greenwood,
supra note 153 at 159.) And by 1996, the murder rate in England was 132 percent
higher than it had been before the original gun ban of 1903 was enacted. (Compare
Greenwood, supra note 153, with Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crime and Justice in the
United States and in England and Wales, 1981-96, Bureau of Justice Statistics, October
1998).
157 "Crime rising in Japan, while arrests at record low: police," AFP News (August 3,
2001); "A crime wave alarms Japan, once gun-free," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 July
1992.
158 "Most Crime Worse in England Than US, Study Says," Reuters (October 11, 1998).
See also Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crime and Justice in the United States and in
England and Wales, 1981-96 (October 1998).
159 See BJS study, supra note 158 at iii.
160 John van Kesteren, Pat Mayhew and Paul Nieuwbeerta, "Criminal Victimisation in
Seventeen Industrialised Courtries: Key findings from the 2000 International Crime
Victims Survey," (2000). This study can be read at
http://www.unicri.it/icvs/publications/index_pub.htm. The link is to the ICVS
homepage; study data are available for download as Acrobat pdf files.
161 Ian Henry and Tim Reid, "Crime figures a sham, say police," The Electronic
Telegraph (April 1, 1996).
162 Tim Reid, "Police are accused of fiddling crime data," The Electronic Telegraph
(May 4, 1997).
163 John Steele, "Police figures under-record offences by 20 percent," The Electronic
Telegraph (July 13, 2000).
164 See supra note 161.
165 Ibid.
166 Ibid.
167 See supra note 162.
168 Dave Kopel, Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne Eisen, "Britain: From Bad to Worse,"
NewsMax.com (March 22, 2001).
169 The number of people killed by their own government in Europe averages about
400,000 for the last 70 years. This includes Hitler’s extermination of Jews, gypsies and
other peoples (20,946,000); Stalin’s genocide against the Ukrainian kulaks (6,500,000);
and more. R.J. Rummel, Death by Government (2000), pp. 8 and 80.
170 At our historic worst, murders in the United States approached 25,000 in 1993—or
23,180 to be exact. So even applying our highest single-year tally over the past 70
years would mean that Europeans have experienced 16 times as many murders as we
have in the United States.
171 THE FEDERALIST 46 (James Madison).
172 FBI, "Crime in the United States" (1996): 58.
173 United States Senate, A Majority Staff Report prepared for the use of the
Committee on the Judiciary, 1991 Murder Toll: Initial Projections (August 1991).
174 Gary Fields, "Gun Conundrum: More on Streets, Fewer Reports of Deaths,
Woundings," The Wall Street Journal (December 11, 2000).
175 See supra note 4.
176 U.S. Senate, "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms," Report of the Subcommittee on
the Constitution of the
Committee on the Judiciary (1982): 8-17.
177 Id., at 12.
178 U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 US 259 (1990).
179 U.S. v. Lopez, 514 US 549 (1995).
180 Printz v. U.S., 521 US 98 (1997).
181 David B. Kopel, Stephen P. Halbrook and Alan Korwin, Supreme Court Gun Cases:
Two Centuries of Gun Rights Revealed (2004), p. 75. The quote in the text comes from
an article in the book by Kopel. The article is entitled, "The Supreme Court’s Thirty-five
Other Gun Cases: What the Supreme Court has said about the Second Amendment."
182 U.S. Senate, "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms," at 9. See also Stephen P.
Halbrook, That Every Man be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (1984):
107-153.
The Senate sponsor of the 14th Amendment, Senator Jacob Howard (R-MI), said the
Amendment would force the states to respect "the personal rights guaranteed and
secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution; such as freedom of speech
and of the press; . . . the right to keep and bear arms . . . ." Cong. Globe, 39th Cong.,
1st Sess., pt. 3, 2765 (23 May 1866), cited in Halbrook, at 112.
The House author of the 14th Amendment, Rep. John Bingham (R-OH), said that the
first eight amendments to the U.S. Constitution "never were limitations upon the power
of the States, until made so by the fourteenth amendment. The words of that
amendment, ‘no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges
or immunities of citizens of the United States,’ are an express prohibition upon every
State of the Union." Cong. Globe, 42d Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 2, Appendix, 84 (31 Mr.
1871), cited in Halbrook, at 146. (Rep. Bingham stated that the "privileges and
immunities of citizens of a State, are chiefly defined in the first eight amendments to
the Constitution of the United States.")
That the Fourteenth Amendment was intended, among other things, to prevent states
from disarming black citizens is clear. During debate over the 14th Amendment, Senator
Thomas Hendricks (D-IN) bragged that "colored" people in his state do not enjoy the
same rights as white people. Thus, he opposed adoption of the 14th Amendment
because among other things, it would grant Second Amendment rights to the "negroes,
the coolies, and the Indians." Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 3, 2939 (4 June
1866) cited in Halbrook, at 113.
183 Public Law 99-308, Sect. 1(b).
184 Elliot, 3:425.
185 [Richard Henry Lee], Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, ed. Walter
Hartwell Bennett (Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 1978): 124.
186 Militia Act of 1792, printed in John F. Callan, The Military Laws of the United States
(Baltimore: John Murphy & Co., 1858): 65.
187 U.S. Senate, "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms," Report of the Subcommittee on
the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary (1982):7.
188 Title 10 of the U.S. Code (Sec. 311) also defines the Militia to include "female
citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard." The Code then
divides the Militia into two groups—the "unorganized" militia (the body of the people)
and the "organized" militia (the National Guard). This two-fold division of the Militia was
not added to federal law until 1903.
189 U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939).
190 Kimi Yoshino, "Gun advocates say fear of liability keeps parents from teaching
survival skills," The Fresno Bee (August 26, 2000).
191 William Rasberry, "Ask A.D. Parker about gun control," The Denver Post (March 20,
2000).
192 Gerald Mizejewski, "Device wins police praise but fails to move skeptics," The
Washington Times (March 23, 2000).
193 Interview with Sammy Gravano in Howard Blum, "The Reluctant Don," Vanity Fair
(September 1999), p. 165.
194 In Gun Facts, Guy Smith astutely observes that pollsters will often use questions
like "If it reduced crime, would you favor stronger gun control laws." These questions,
he says, are then rephrased in an editor’s headline to read "Americans demand gun
control" while ignoring the leading goal of reducing crime. These surveys also fail in one
other important respect, Smith says. They fail to ask counter balancing questions to
prove/disprove any bias in questions. For example, a counter-balancing question might
be "If it were shown that gun control laws were ineffective in preventing crime, would
you favor enacting more gun control laws?" Guy Smith, Gun Facts (2001) at
http://www.KeepAndBearArms.com/images/gunfacts.pdf.
195 Jack Kelly, "Moms Make Too Much of Guns," The Baltimore Sun (May 22, 2001).
196 Liz Marlantes, "Democrats tone down gun-control stance: After years of pushing
restrictions, they're on a new quest to capture southern votes," The Christian Science
Monitor (May 10, 2002).
197 Noam Scheiber, "The Dems abandon gun control: Gun shy," The New Republic
Online (January 24, 2001).
198 Susan Page, "Democrats sing new tune on gun control," USA Today (August 13,
2001).
199 Evelyn Theiss, "Clinton blames losses on NRA," The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer
(January 14, 1995).
200 President Bill Clinton, State of the Union Address (January 24, 1995).
201 The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, "Remarks by the President and the
First Lady on Gun Control Legislation," White House Briefing Room (April 27, 1999).
202 President Bill Clinton on ABC’s Good Morning America (June 4, 1999).
203 Brady O’Leary, "Fire Power: Surprising poll results and election returns show that
the National Rifle Association had a lot more to do with November 8 than most pundits
realize," Campaigns & Elections (December/January 1995), pp. 32-34.
204 Michelle Malkin, "Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis," Seattle
Times (June 23, 1998).
205 "Election 98," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (November 5, 1998).
206 "Ballot Issues," Chicago Sun-Times (November 10, 1994). Neal Knox,
"Referendums Defeated In Milwaukee, Kenosha," Online Report to the Firearms
Coalition (January 10, 1995).at http://www.rkba.org/knox/9jan95.
207 Josh Sugarman, The National Rifle Association: Money, Firepower and Fear (1992)
at http://www.vpc.org/nrainfo/chapter2.html.
208 Tanya Metaksa, "The Price of Appeasement," FrontPageMagazine.com (October 24,
2000).
209 Daniel Merkle, "America: It’s Our Right to Bear Arms: ABCNEWS.com Poll Finds
Most Support Individuals' Right to Own Guns," ABCNEWS.com (May 14, 2002). The poll
of 1,028 adults was conducted between May 8 and 12 of 2002. The poll found that after
hearing the text of the Second Amendment verbatim, 73 percent of the American public
viewed the amendment as guaranteeing an individual right. Only 20 percent thought
the amendment guaranteed the right of a state to maintain a militia.
210 "Zogby American Values Poll Results," The Washington Times (March 28, 2000).
211 Research 2000 of Rockville, Maryland. This survey was conducted from January 30
through February 1, 2002. A total of 1101 likely voters nationally were interviewed by
telephone.
212 Nancy Wong, "American Confidence in Bush Remains High Post Attacks," Harris
Interactive (October 3, 2001) at
http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news/allnewsbydate.asp?NewsID=369.
213 "Poll: Majority Support Guns in the Cockpit," U.S. Newswire (May 14, 2002) at
http://www.usnewswire.com/topnews/first/0514-127.html.
214 Carla Crowder, "Gun-Control Opinions Unchanged," Denver Rocky Mountain News
(May 20, 1999). The Colorado News Poll was conducted between May 6 – 16 of 1999
for the Denver Rocky Mountain News and News4 in Denver. Results were based on 600
random phone interviews with Coloradans.
215 Ibid.